The Philippines is confident of further improving its global ranking in the 2021 Ease of Doing Business  (EODB) report despite serious concerns that some reforms may not be acknowledged that may affect the country’s score.

“I see a much improved score for the Ease of Doing Business (EODB) Survey this 2021 as our reforms aimed at streamlining and speeding up government processes are finally coming to fruition,” said Jeremiah Belgica, director general of the Anti Red Tape Authority (ARTA). 


Last year, the country scored 62.8 to finish 95th in the Doing Business 2020 Report by the World Bank. This was a leap from a score of 57.68 in 2019, pushing us 29 notches from the 124th ranking out of 190 economies.

Belgica said that ARTA has worked together with key agencies to improve service across all indicators. 

“This year, we are highly confident that our reforms in four particular Doing Business Indicators namely Trading Across Borders, Protecting Minority Investors, Enforcing Contracts, and Dealing with Construction Permits will be recognized,” said Belgica. 

Despite this, Belgica feared that not all of the Philippine efforts will be acknowledged due to some DB “survey methodology concerns that need to be further assessed and improved.”

Belgica said these concerns are in the areas of Starting a Business, Dealing with Construction Permits, Registering Property, and Enforcing Contracts.

Among the recent developments that ARTA has noted on these four indicators are the automation of the local government of Quezon City for the issuance of business permits and constructions permits; the digitization of land titles in Quezon City; and, the reduction of cost and number of days for the filing and service and trial and judgment phase on breach of contractual obligations of the procedure for small claims cases before the Quezon City Metropolitan Trial Courts. 

“We have already expressed our grave concerns to the World Bank since last year and have appealed anew to the organization to revisit and hopefully amend its methodology for EODB survey to ensure selection of appropriate respondents,” said Belgica.

Should the concerns are addressed, Belgica expects to see a study that is “more reflective of the Doing Business situation not only in our country but also in other economies.”

As per Rule XI Section 4 (b) of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of R.A. 11032, or the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018, ARTA is mandated to implement various ease of doing business and anti-red tape reform initiatives aimed at improving the ranking of the Philippines, among other functions.

To this end, ARTA has taken over the function of the former National Competitiveness Council and the Department of Trade and Industry –Competitiveness Bureau of monitoring our country’s competitiveness ranking in the World Bank’s Doing Business (DB) Report for the 2021 cycle.

Source: Manila Bulletin (